Funeral held for slain journalist

The Sun Times (Owen Sound) - - WORLD NEWS - VESELIN TOSHKOV and DAVID RIS­ING

SOFIA, Bul­garia — Hun­dreds of rel­a­tives, friends and col­leagues of slain Bul­gar­ian journalist Vik­to­ria Mari­nova said their good­byes at a funeral Fri­day in her home­town, just af­ter Ger­man po­lice an­nounced that a sus­pect has ac­knowl­edged at­tack­ing her. Peo­ple queued at the Holy Trin­ity Cathe­dral in the northern bor­der town of Ruse, Bul­garia, to pay trib­ute and lay flow­ers at the cof­fin of the 30-year old, whose body was found Satur­day in a park near the Danube River.

A Bul­gar­ian Ortho­dox priest per­formed a liturgy with a pro­ces­sion pass­ing the cas­ket to pay last re­spects be­fore the funeral.

Mari­nova is sur­vived by a sev­enyear-old daugh­ter.

Ruse Mayor Pla­men Stoilov told re­porters that “the bru­tal slay­ing has cast a shadow over the peace­ful city.”

Bul­gar­ian prose­cu­tors have iden­ti­fied the sus­pect as 21-year-old Sev­erin Kras­simirov. He has been charged in ab­sen­tia for Mari­nova’s rape and killing and Bul­garia has sought his extradition from Ger­many, where he was ar­rested on an in­ter­na­tional war­rant.

Ger­man prose­cu­tors ear­lier said Kras­simirov told them he had not meant to kill Mari­nova, and he de­nied rap­ing or rob­bing her.

The Celle, Ger­many, pros­e­cu­tor’s of­fice said the sus­pect con­fessed to be­ing un­der the in­flu­ence of al­co­hol and drugs when he got into an ar­gu­ment with a woman he did not know in a park. They say he told them he hit her in the face and threw her into bushes but “de­nied the in­tent to kill.”

Prose­cu­tors said Kras­simirov will be ex­tra­dited within the next 10 days.

Mari­nova hosted a TV show last month fea­tur­ing two in­ves­tiga­tive jour­nal­ists who were de­tained for their work on sus­pected fraud in­volv­ing Euro­pean Union funds.

While Mari­nova didn’t ap­pear to have been closely in­volved in the fraud in­ves­ti­ga­tion, her show touched on a sen­si­tive sub­ject in Bul­garia, where cor­rup­tion is en­demic, and there was wide­spread spec­u­la­tion that she may have been tar­geted for her work.

VADIM GHIRDA/THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Pall­bear­ers carry Vik­to­ria Mari­nova’s cas­ket prior to her funeral in Ruse, Bul­garia, on Fri­day. She was mur­dered last Satur­day.

Mari­nova

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